Friday, 28 January 2011

Back after winter gap.

 It has been a while since I posted anything new. I purchased some very nice units of Saxon and Bavarian cavalry on Ebay some time ago, and I think thses may be the work of Doug Mason, but cannot be sure.

 Thre are two Saxon heavy cavalry regiments at 32 figures per regiment that I needed for my Borodino plus two squadrons of Bavarian light cavalry at 6 figures per squadron. I believe there were two squadrons of Bavarian light horse on the Orbat in the later green tunic as depicted.

 I intend to sort out the main table again soon, but may well put up a fantasy battle as the son of an old friend is due to visit at the end of February and he has the makings of a future wargamer in him! If not the plan is too build a large town on the table to allow for both a large Napoleonic skirmish game of a possible 28mm WW2 scenario.

 Hopefully my next post be will have more to report.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


 A short time ago I purchased a few French limbers from the Wargames Holiday Centre collection.

 I didn't really have a practical use for the limbers in the rules, I think Mike had planned to use them to cause units to become disorderd.

 I added them to the collection because they were variously painted by Doug Mason and the late Peter Gilder. Pictures of their work gave me a lot of inspiration many years ago when I started back into "serious wargaming", and I thought I would post some pictures so that their work is out there in cyberspace!

Hope you enjoy them.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Westphalian Reinforcements Arrive.

Four new battalions of 28mm Westpahalian infantry have now been painted up by my extremely talented painter and will in due course be deployed at Borodino. Here are a few pitures of these very fine fellows.

ZULU! Refight of Rorke's Drift 9th October 2010

On Saturday, Nelson hosted his first Zulu Wars game with a refight of Rorke's Drift.

 Here are a couple of close ups of the Zulus, suitably frenzied with cries of "Usuthu"!

The game was played using the "Damned Wobbly Gentlemen" set of rules, free to download from Empress Miniatures here:

 We found these rules to be very fast and highly enjoyable. They formed the basis of the game, although as is normally the case, various house modificatuions were introduced to add to the flow of the game as we both envisaged it (which was basically the scenes from Zulu the film!). The entire game was fought out in three and a half hours of play, involving up to three successive waves of zulus. As it transpired, only the unmarried regiment attacking Lt Chard on the right flank actually deployed three waves. The regiment attacking from the rear of the hospital used two, but the two other regiments hitting Lt Bromhead on the the left flank, in front of the hospital really only needed one.

 Nelson had gone to great lengths to recreate small details, here is a picture of part of the interior of the hospital, which was the scene of some heroic defence. Sadly all the defenders copped it, well not all, I think we agreed to move "Hitch" to safety after he had survived over 5 meleees.

 As the old cliche goes, this was a game of two halves, only this refers to the table and not time. On the right flank, Chard and the bulk of the British infantry proved extremely tough and wrought havoc on the advancing zulus with sustained fire followed by some hard fighting at the mealie bags that saw two successive waves sent back with their leopard skin tails between their legs!

 In fact, as always,  it was really about the roll of the dice. On the right flank time and time again the British (me) rolled high scoring dice, while the zulus (Nelson) managed to roll more ones and twos that seemed statistically possible!! The same could not be said on the left, except for one bunch of warriors who failed to gain entry to the hospital, managing not a single six in almost 30 dice rolled!

 On the left the zulus quickly decimated the defenders and the thin line became distinctly "woobly" in a relatively short time.

 Lt Bromhead was forced to draw his troops back to the perpendicular defensive wall but then, as the odds became overwhelming, he led a desperate dash across towards the other side of the mission. Alas, unlike the movie (and historical reality) Bromhead was caught in the open and received several assegais simultaneously, a moment captured forever in this tragic picture!!

 All the pictures were taken as the game played out and none are staged except for poor Bromhead's demise and only insofar as he was not imstantly removed from the table but laid out flat for a snap shot for posterity.

 On the right flank the zulus continued to press .

 Eventually the British were forced to pull back into the final mealie bag redoubt for their heroic last stand.

 The zulus swarnmed against this last defence and it was agreed that there would be a set number of turns with more nand more zulus being able to engage a single British infantryman (thereby increasing their odds of success as the British tired). Throughout, Lt Chard gallantly rallied the defenders.

 After all the attacks, the game ended with a few brave survivors as the zulus finally gave up. They could have brought in a total of five more regiments if the three waves had been carried out to the full. As it was, there were very few survivors and a lot more VCs would have to be posthumous than in the historical battle.

 The indunas on the distant hill had seen enough, and recognising the bravery of the defenders - and having suffered severe casualities themselves, called off the attack.

 The battle is perhaps best summed up by a close up of a lovely conversion by Nelson.

 The figures were a mixture of manufacturers. I believe the zulus were made up of mainly Black Tree while the British involved Old Glory and Wargames Factory amongst others.

 All in all a fast and very tense game which, had the zulus learned how to roll the dice consistently, could very easily have seen the entire mission on the Buffalo River wiped out!!

Saturday, 18 September 2010


Just finished a long ten hour stint at Bobs a few hours ago. It is quite a large clash on a table measuring 19 x 6 feet. It centred on "Fischfang Day", 16th February 1944, a scenario which I believe Bob took from the Rapid Fire rule book, but don't quote me on that. I won't attempt to give background, as my blog is mainly about pictures, and others, most notably Bob himself, who has written articles and rules, are far more able to give a blow by blow account elsewhere. The above picture shows the initial set up with the Allies dug in and the German forces yet to deploy.

I am the least familiar with Rapid Fire and World War 2, so it was a relief when I was switched from the German left flank to take command of the far right. The high point for me was taking out a unit of Allied tanks that had taken up position on the main lateral road.

As the game developed the main thrust of the German attck was stright down the middle, a lot of casualities were sustained as the Tiger and later Panther tanks pushed forward past the "caves". I tried a barrage on this particular feature with a battery of 150mm from off table, but with a additional three off the damage D6, assuming the thing was hit in the first place, it is a formidable position.

The game is set to run for 24 complete moves and today we finished 12. Apart from the odd mix up which arose due to the sheer size of the Orbats and some switching of command - forgetting about some batteries for the German's intial two free rounds of artillery fire being a case in point, the game is definitely still in the balance. The real problem for the Germans is their diminishing ammunition which has been made worse by some of the most consistent rolling of ones and twos on a D6 that I for one have ever witnessed - and indeed helped with!

If the attrocious luck with the dice - and in fairness there have been some really bad rolls from the Allies too - balances out, the victory conditions set could still be met by the Herman Goring boys. The final 12 moves will hopefully be played out next Sunday.

Friday, 17 September 2010

The Westphalians are coming!

I have received pictures of the first batch of Westphalians, namely four infantry battalions, that are being painted up for me.

I will post all six pictures on my Flickr page here:

There are I believe four more battalions to be done and two or three regiments of cavalry. With a suitable battery or two and a command set, this will make a useful stand alone force for smaller games.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

12,000 Figure Adler Borodino

Over the last decade I have steadily amassed Adler 6mm figures with a view to having a look at what kind of a display a large scale battle using these smaller figures would create. The project is nearing completion with about 1,100 more infantry to be added.

 I haven't actaully counted the figures, but I know that there are about 250 battalions of infantry (36 or 32 figures per battalion), which at present is about 8,500. I kinow there are around 2,000 cavalry, plus there are artillery crew etc. In the end I think the total number of figures will be in and around 12,000. They are based at a ratio of 1:20, so approximately 240,000 soldiers are represented, which isn't that far off the numbers involved.

 This is not the proper 6mm set up as regards terrain, and in fact I set the figures out on the 28mm table so that a comparison can be made on the Flickr page which I have linked in below.

It is surprising how detailed these Adlers are given their size, some gamers often refer to the fact that they have large heads, but to me this adds character, and when viewed en masse, I believe they present a true spectacle.

Even with this number of figures on the main 18 x 6 foot table. it would be very esy to play a game with open flanks. I was in fact amazed at how much room there was on the table.

This project has really been a labour of love. I have often raised the issue of what rule set to use on various forums, but I am still not sure.

For those who would like to see more pictures follow this link to my Flickr page:

Next weekend I am due to take part in a gigantic refight of Anzio using Rapid Fire. Hopefully I will be able to post a few pictures of it in due course.